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PCC Panther Basketball Optimistic for 1997-98 Season

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PORTLAND — The great drumstick is bearing down on us – Thanksgiving, that is – and that can only mean one thing – Portland Community College Panther basketball!

Coaches for both the men’s and women’s teams are optimistic about the new season. Pre-season opening day for the men’s team is Saturday, Nov. 29 against the Yakima Valley Indians at the Sylvania Campus in Southwest Portland. The pre-season opener for the women’s team is at Sylvania on Monday, Dec. 1 against the Tacoma Titans. Admission is free to all Panthers basketball games, which are held at Sylvania, 12000 S.W. 49th Avenue, or at Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth. Once the regular season starts on Jan. 7, men’s and women’s games will be played back-to-back.

Men’s coach Don Dixon said the team hopes to match last year’s solid 7-7 record. The team tied for second in their division. "Last year we had four players who went to four-year schools. It’s going to be very difficult to repeat what we did last year. But you never know how you’re going to do until you play someone," he said.

Providing the team with a strong base are returning guard Colt Deese and center John Keeling of Portland, guard Kris Crispell of Hillsboro and forward James Watson of Vancouver.

"I like my players; I think we have some talent. They’re going to be a fast team, an exciting team," said Dixon.

Despite a few close calls, the women’s team had a winless season last year. Even so, women’s coach Ron Slovick is "cautiously optimistic" for the all-new team.

"These girls weren’t associated with the program then," said Slovick. "To burden them with that wouldn’t be fair. Everyone feels that we’re going to do well."

Six-foot sophomore center Misty Wade of Warrenton is not only a good player, said Slovick, but shows leadership as well. "Misty, from square one, she said, ‘I just want to make this as good a program as I can,’ and she hasn’t wavered from that," said Slovick.

Strengthening Wade are a pair of freshman guards from Aloha High School, Amber Mountain and Heather Wilson, who have played together before, and forward Shevette Hudson, a freshman from Cleveland High School in Portland.

"She’s real cagey and real smart," commented Slovick.

All the teams need now is an audience to fill the bleachers and watch ’em go! "It’d be nice for people to come out and support us," agreed Dixon.

Remember, admission is free at all home games. Call 977-4213 for more information.

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